The Red Data Book of the Russian Federation is a government record of rare and endangered plant, animal, and fungi species found within the Russian Federation, its marine economic zone, and its continental shelf. This document is also referred to as the Red Book and the Russian Red Data Book. It is the basis for creating and enacting endangered species protection agreements. This article takes a closer look at this Russian document.
History Of The Red Data Book Of The Russian Federation
Between 1961 and 1964, a group of Soviet biologists conducted research about the endangered plants and animals of the Soviet territory. This research took place as part of the IUCN Red List responsibility and became the first Soviet list of endangered species.The Ministry of Agriculture requested further research after viewing the list in the latter part of the decade. An ecological evaluation of the situation resulted in the Ministry introducing legislation in 1974 that was aimed at protecting the endangered species on the list.
The legislation led to the first official publication of the Red Book in 1978. Under the new law, animals listed on the document are protected and regulated by the Soviet government in an attempt to conserve their existence. When the Soviet Union collapsed, conservation efforts were left up to the newly formed nations. Many of these countries, however, were unable to create and maintain their own endangered species lists due to a lack of resources. In order to uphold shared conservation regulations, the region created a common ecological treaty.
Red Book Data Categories
The Red Data Book of the Russian Federation utilizes 6 categories in order to identify the conservation status of regional plant, animal, and fungi species. These categories are as follows:
- Category 5, Rehabilitated and Rehabilitating: This category is used to describe those species whose population numbers have increased or recovered due to conservation regulations. Species under this category are considered nearly stable and do not have any urgent conservation concerns.
- Category 4, Uncertain Status: This category is used to describe those species that do not meet the criteria for the other categories. Additionally, experts may not have sufficient information about these species in order to determine their conservation status.
- Category 3, Rare: This category is used to describe those species with small population size and restricted land or marine territory size. Additionally, species categorized as rare may inhabit larger territories but in small and hard to find population sizes.
- Category 2, Decreasing Number: This category is used to describe those species that are experiencing constant population decline. If the factors influencing these species’ population sizes continue, the species are moved to the following category.
- Category 1, Endangered: This category is used to describe those species that are in danger of extinction. This danger occurs when population sizes become so small it seems unlikely that they may be recuperated in the future.
- Category 0, Probably Extinct: This category is used to describe those species that have gone unseen, unnoticed, or undocumented for at least 50 years within the Russian territories.
Regional Red Books
Despite the existence of the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation, some regions attempt to maintain their own red books and regional conservation policies. These regional policies are criticized for utilizing conservation funds on repetitive paperwork to create these regional books instead of funding more direct conservation efforts. Proponents of regional Red Books, however, claim that these specialized species lists allow for more concise protection measures of local environments and that they provide support to local biological research efforts.